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  1. #61
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    But lets drop evolution altogether. I was not presenting a case for or against evolution. Ever since mankind learned how to breed selectively, it has been recognized that evolution is too **** slow for our purposes. -peterloringborst
    Evolution is the crux of selective breeding. Without evolution, selective breeding would fail. Can you imagine trying to reach a breeding goal without any mechanism for change (i.e. evolution) or any mechanism to preserve that change in the population (again, evolution)? Why would anyone bother to even attempt to make selections in breeding if you couldn't work toward your goals?

    But my idea with isolated yards is to use them as a place to breed healthy bees. -peterloringborst
    First, where would you be able to maintain isolated yards?

    But, more importantly, why would you want to? I would prefer bees that do not have to be isolated to be productive. Why not try to breed in locations that have similar conditions to what beekeepers experience, rather than isolated conditions?

    Getting them away from pathogens is only one part of the picture. -peterloringborst
    Again, why? My bees are surrounded by bees from migratory operations. No isolation here. Yet I do not feel I have problems from pathogens in my bees. Why couldn't someone produce healthy bees in such an operation if his bees were healthy?

    Next would be to introduce hygienic stock or mite resistant stock. From there you would continue to select. -peterloringborst
    Just me, maybe, but I could care less if I had hygienic or mite-resistant stock if I had no mite pressure. I do not consider my bees to be at all resistant to Tropilaelaps, but I don't feel I need such resistance at this point. Someday maybe, but not now. So why would you desire mite resistance if you had no mites in an isolated setting? And how would you even know whether or not you had any mite resistance if you had no mites to test that resistance?

    But part and parcel with this approach is to breed healthy bees to bring into areas where disease is rampant. -peterloringborst
    Out of curiosity, where is disease rampant?

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  3. #62
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post
    Evolution is the crux of selective breeding. Without evolution, selective breeding would fail.
    Yes, well, if by evolution you mean natural selection, that would seem to be somewhat at odds with artificial selection as practiced by human beings. If you mean genetic variation, that certainly is required for artificial selection to work, but in itself, variation does not constitute all that is evolution.

    But lets use a real world example. Natural selection produced the wolf. Artificial selection produced a wide range of dogs, most of which wouldn't last a week in the woods were there wolves there. Natural selection did not and probably would never have produced most of our food products.

    Now, let's take it to the next level. Are you prepared to suggest that genetic engineering is also evolution? Now, there are many people who draw very sharp divisions here. Personally, I believe genetic engineering IS the latest tool in mankind's effort to customize nature for our own purposes.

    I am fully cognizant of the fact that point of view is certainly not shared by everyone, and in fact, there seems to be a very strong sentiment around these parts that even traditional breeding practices as applied to honey bees do more harm than good.

    I think we could pretty well split a roomful of people into factions by saying: who's in favor of natural selection solving the bee's problems; who is all for intensive breeding including instrumental insemination; and finally, who would be in favor of genetically modified honey bees.

    One last example: Warwick Kerr was embarking upon what he thought was a selective breeding experiment in Brazil. Nature (evolution?) went in a different direction, of course. There are a lot of evolutionary phenomena that can't really be classified as a "real good thing".

    Peter Loring Borst
    Ithaca NY U S A

  4. #63
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Interesting thread. I lean toward the "natural" method of caring for livestock. I was a sheep farmer/rancher in Colorado and Maine for many years. However, I learned early on that breeding is the secret to success in farming. I always got the best stock I could afford and used it in my breeding programs. Unfortunately there are no mite resistant sheep that I'm aware of - so from time to time I had to use treatments. Went against my grain but it was better than sick sheep. I truck farmed tomatoes in Maine and again, used the best, most resistant breeding I could find. I was able to market them as organic tomatoes. Only because of the breeding. Didn't need treatments.

    Now that I'm raising bees I'm doing the same thing. I ordered VSH queens this year specifically to raise the natural resistance of my colonies. I'm trying to raise treatment free bees but if my hives continue to succumb to mites/virus, I'll probably treat them too. I'm sure that natural resistance will develop over time. But I'm pushing 70 and don't want to wait 20 years. Commercial beeks can't wait either.

  5. #64
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Yes, well, if by evolution you mean natural selection, . . . -peterloringborst
    No, I do not. Natural selection is a part of evolution, but it is not evolution. Evolution is change over time. Biologically, evolution is the change we see in organisms over time.

    . . . variation does not constitute all that is evolution. -peterloringborst
    Again, variation is not evolution, but variation is a consequence of evolution and a necessity for evolution. Without variation, evolution could not exist. Mutations produce variation, variation leads to differential evolutionary fitness when faced with selective pressures, which leads to change over time.

    Are you prepared to suggest that genetic engineering is also evolution? -peterloringborst
    Yes. What else would it be? Would you agree that genetic engineering is a selective pressure on organisms? Would you agree that the pressure causes change in the population? If yes to both, it's evolution.

    See, part of the problem is nitpicking between "natural" selection and "artificial" selection. The difference is often less pronounced than it seems. What constitutes "artificial" selection? If ants that tend aphids favor one phenotype of aphid over another, is it "natural" selection or "artificial" selection? Where does the difference lie?

    Don't forget in all of this: humans are part of nature. We are not separate and removed from other life forms.

    There are a lot of evolutionary phenomena that can't really be classified as a "real good thing". -peterloringborst
    Right. Evolution is not good or bad. It just is.

  6. #65
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    I would suggest a couple of interesting reads:

    Julian Huxley and the End of Evolution
    MARC SWETLITZ

    In 1950, Julian Huxley delivered the Huxley Memorial Lecture before members of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. He titled the lecture "New Bottles for New Wine: Ideology and Scientific Knowledge" and, after summarizing his views of evolutionary progress, he concluded: "The ideologically most important fact about evolution [is] the fact that the human species is now the spearhead of the evolutionary process, the only portion of the stuff of which our world is made which is capable of further progress, or indeed of any large-scale evolutionary change at all."

    Bill McKibben and THE END OF NATURE
    EVA REGNIER

    THE MESSAGE OF The End of Nature justifies its ominous title: According to Bill McKibben, true nature, which was independent of human influence, has been replaced by an artificial nature in whose processes human beings play a part. He recognizes that human beings value themselves and their interests primarily and that these values will likely win out. A "managed world" in which human beings control the climate, genetics, and ecology is the most probable solution short of ecological catastrophe. McKibben values nature for its own sake; this result appeals neither to him nor to the reader.

    * * *

    Paul S. Agutter • Denys N. Wheatley
    Thinking about Life: The History and Philosophy of Biology and Other Sciences

    We can picture a theory as an amoeba that lives in a sea of data and grows by engulfing and assimilating all the facts that are compatible with its ‘metabolism’ (its postulates, definitions, laws and procedures of reasoning). Amoebae continually move around, changing their shapes and growing, unless they are dead. Scientific theories are ever-shifting and ever-growing, unless they are dead. Amoebae examine and ingest possible morsels of food by extending pseudopodia. Theories examine and ingest possible morsels of data by extending hypotheses. At its periphery, the structure is very labile. Parts of the surface can be removed and the amoeba (or the theory) will re-seal and carry on as before, more or less unaffected. At the core, around the ‘nucleus’, things are different. Removal or alteration of material here has dramatic effects. The theory is radically changed or killed.
    Last edited by peterloringborst; 02-06-2010 at 05:59 AM. Reason: supplemental info

  7. #66
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    >>>>>>>>>>>Peter wrote: But lets drop evolution altogether. I was not presenting a case for or against evolution. Ever since mankind learned how to breed selectively, it has been recognized that evolution is too **** slow for our purposes.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    While I don't disagree in general, this statement ignores epigenetics. This aspect of evolution is exciting in that it proves that what happens to an individual in it's life (trauma, weather anomaly, predation) can be passed on to the NEXT GENERATION. What used to be called the Lamarkian Fallacy, is back on the table. Newer studies of the genome recognize that viruses can be incorporated into the genome and affect heredity. Nature has more tricks than we know. Fast change, in an individual, may be more "natural" than we think. Read: http://www.newscientist.com/article/...erprinted.html' for openers.
    Than read: http://www.newscientist.com/article/...html?full=true

    Natural. I'm beginning to hate the sound of that word. With bees bringing in 400+ chemicals in their pollen; with between 50 and 150 phamaceuticals found in city drinking water; with fisheries looted to the bone; with many fish polluted with mercury; with the water polluted with agricultural run-off in the corn belt; and now with GM products taking over agriculture.....just what do you think could be natural? Mourn for the past a moment and let's move on. It is the way it is.

    I think it's yearning for the past that makes one think there could be such a thing as a natural cell. I use foundationless frames in a controlled way. (Wired wood frames in the center of the brood nest) but I have no illusions that they are more "natural" than others.
    I do it to get cleaner wax. Things moved away from natural when we put a round brood chamber in a rectangular box.

    Dickm

  8. #67
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post
    Isolated colonies with little or no Varroa pressure are likely to develop no adaptive mechanisms against the mites.
    The mite is pretty much world wide now so I don't understand were the lack of pressure would be. There is evidence around the globe of isolated honeybees developing tolerance. It's well recorded in wild and domesticated bees. To name a few. The Russian, Argentinean Apis mellifera, Monticola, Elgon, also some beekeepers in the U.S. are having luck with tolerance in isolated areas. Most with no treatments. There are many more.

    There is and have been attempts to intergrade some of them into the existing pool but their tolerances are watered down in short order.
    I think what we are seeing in mites, viruses, etc is they adapt to their environment at a rate were the bees can't keep up. This is amplified with the movement of bees around the country/world. Kind of like a flu virus makes its trip around the country then mutating for the next flu seasons trip.

    I have heard through the grape vine in the past that Kona queens showed good tolerance to varroa even though they never had varroa where they were produced. From an isolated island.

    This is an interesting review that shows there are many factors involved in developing tolerance to varroa and well worth reading. I did want to bring attention to "resistance to tracheal mites".
    My feel is the bees have all the tools they need to over come the issues they are having; we just have to give them a spot to work their magic.


    http://ressources.ciheam.org/om/pdf/c21/97605908.pdf

    In the course of this investigation, we also discovered that ARS-Y-C-l showed
    strong evidence of economic resistance to tracheal mites (Fig. 5) (Rinderer et al.,1993; de Guzman, 1994). A similar observation was reported by Danka et al. (1994) and de Guzman et al. (in press). This observation suggests the possibility that the genes which produce tracheal mite resistance to ARS-Y-C-1 and their hybrids may have dominance at least in this cross and that the selection for resistance to Varroa increased the resistance to Acarapis woodi. It must be emphasized that tracheal mites were never detected in Yugoslavia where the selection and breeding the ARS-Y-C-l occurred. Because of the indications of tracheal mite resistance, and several other beekeeping characteristics of high qualities, USDA-ARS had released this stock in 1993.

  9. #68
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    There is evidence around the globe of isolated honeybees developing tolerance. -Delta Bay
    If the mites are found worldwide, what exactly does "isolated" mean in this context? No interbreeding with other honey bees? Where would such locations exist where mites would still be present?

    I think what we are seeing in mites, viruses, etc is they adapt to their environment at a rate were the bees can't keep up. -Delta Bay
    This runs counter to evolution.

    The most successful mites would be the ones that would not kill their hosts. Once the hosts are dead, the mites are dead, too. Same with viruses. Unless novel viruses are being introduced, the viruses and bees will reach an equilibrium.

    Just as a different example, name a virus in humans that is both long-standing (not a recent jump from a different species) and also kills its host (the human) with incredible speed. If the host dies before the virus or parasite can find another suitable host, that line of virus or parasite is dead.

    I have heard through the grape vine in the past that Kona queens showed good tolerance to varroa even though they never had varroa where they were produced. From an isolated island. -Delta Bay
    Could happen. I don't know. I have no experience with Kona queens. I have heard that Varroa is present in Hawaii now.

    Regardless, the isolation would not be the factor responsible for making them resistant if they are. Isolation is not required for such things to happen.

    With as strong a selective pressure as Varroa is claimed to be in honey bees, and with as long as honey bees have been exposed to Varroa now, the equilibrium between mite and bee should start showing up.

  10. #69
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Just as a different example, name a virus in humans that is both long-standing (not a recent jump from a different species) and also kills its host (the human) with incredible speed.
    Some strains of hepititis. It can do a pretty good job of killing the host.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post
    With as strong a selective pressure as Varroa is claimed to be in honey bees, and with as long as honey bees have been exposed to Varroa now, the equilibrium between mite and bee should start showing up.
    It is showing, as the bees here in North America are handling mites better the when they first arrived here, so some headway has been made. But at a snails pace as far as I'm concerned.
    Do you think all is fine with our honeybees and we should stay the course we're on now or what changes would you make?

    Just to show that there is intrest in isolated breeding.

    http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/publi...ssue-78/varroa

    High SMRD queens cannot simply be introduced to hives around New Zealand, because with every generation of queens that mate with drones that do not carry the SMRD gene, the tolerance of these colonies to varroa will reduce. The only way to maintain and improve this stock on the mainland is with a breeding programme utilising artificial insemination. The reliance on artificial insemination makes such a system expensive to operate, and continued funding is required to maintain the gains made.

    Isolated colony to maintain resistant stock
    Because of this, we have been searching for a place to maintain the stock as a closed population with minimal management. This requires an area where the bees will be isolated from all other managed and feral colonies, to ensure that the lines maintain their genetic resistance to varroa.
    Last edited by Delta Bay; 02-05-2010 at 05:14 PM. Reason: added to post

  11. #70
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Some strains of hepititis. It can do a pretty good job of killing the host. -Delta Bay
    Maybe so, but not comparable to Varroa. If it were, almost every person in the U. S. would have one of those strains of hepatitis.

    Do you think all is fine with our honeybees and we should stay the course we're on now or what changes would you make? -Delta Bay
    As far as Varroa? I would stay the course right now. Of course, I'm apparently in a minority. I have not treated for Varroa since 2003, I don't use "small cell," and I spent a lot of time a couple years ago actually trying to increase mite populations in some of my hives to a high enough level that I could run a research trial on them. Didn't work. I couldn't seem to raise enough mites. Sure, I have mites in my hives. Not enough to worry about (less than 1 percent of the bees are parasitized), but not the absence of mites reported in some cases.

    So, would I make changes for the sake of Varroa? Not at this point. The bees that I have aren't anything special, they're not some sort of super strain, and they're definitely not isolated.

    Isolated colony to maintain resistant stock. . . -Delta Bay
    This is quite a bit different than needing isolation to evolve resistance to mites. This is a case of needing isolation to maintain purity in breeding lines. The same would be needed to maintain purity in any sort of breeding line. For some, "isolation" can be achieved through instrumental insemination.

  12. #71
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    > The most successful mites would be the ones that would not kill their hosts. Once the hosts are dead, the mites are dead, too. Same with viruses. Unless novel viruses are being introduced, the viruses and bees will reach an equilibrium.

    This does not reflect the real world. The whole theory that parasite do not kill their hosts is absurd. Tell that to all the people who died from parasites. Tell that to all the beekeepers that lost their bees to varroa, nosema, virus, etc.

    Now, many of these pests have mechanism of dispersal so that if the host is dying, they can get to new hosts. However, many parasites DO DIE when their host dies.

    Perhaps you have heard of the experiment where varroa was introduced to an off shore California island to rid the island of honey bees? The hosts and the mites ALL died. Resistance did NOT develop, equilibrium did NOT occur.

    Now, it is true that many parasites do not kill their host. But to suggest that a balance will always occur when a parasite or virus or any sort of disease infects a host, -- untrue.
    Last edited by peterloringborst; 02-06-2010 at 07:39 AM. Reason: unnecessary comment

  13. #72
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post
    The bees that I have aren't anything special, they're not some sort of super strain, and they're definitely not isolated. .
    OK, so then -- what is it? This is the very reason I started this thread. To get at the reasons why some populations of bees are able to thrive without treatments. Please expound.

  14. #73
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post
    Out of curiosity, where is disease rampant?
    The beekeeping industry in the United States has faced a number of obstacles to healthy bee management in recent decades. These obstacles range from arthropod pests such as the tracheal mite (Acarapis woodi), Varroa destructor mites, and small hive beetles (Aethina tumida) to pathogenic diseases including RNA viruses and the microsporidian Nosema spp. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (2009), the number of managed honey bee colonies used for honey production in the U.S. has decreased steadily since the late 1940’s.

    Despite the replacement of lost colonies through splitting, there was a net loss (-5.81%) in the total number of honey producing colonies from 2007 to 2008 (calculated from data provided by NASS, 2009), thus suggesting that “splitting” colonies is not sufficient to maintain the sustainability of beekeeping in the U.S.

    This probably has been exacerbated by the introduction of V. destructor into the U.S. Before its introduction, the total number of honey producing colonies in the U.S. decreased on average 0.06% ± 0.5 (mean ± s.e.) per year while the rate of decline increased to 1.5% ± 0.7 afterwards.

    Although annual losses above 30% are not uncommon for beekeepers in the U.S., the number of beekeepers reporting elevated losses appeared alarming as did the unique symptoms associated with the colony losses. Consequently, the apiculture community in the U.S. called the new phenomenon of elevated colony losses “Colony Collapse Disorder” or CCD.

    The Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) and USDA-ARS estimate that honey bee colony losses for fall / winter 2006-7 and 2007-8 were 31% and 36% respectively. These loss estimates were based on telephone surveys of beekeepers, who managed between 10-18% of the 2.4 million colonies in the U.S. Numerous causes, including CCD, were reported as contributing to the colony losses during the 2006-7 and 2007-8 winters.

    The effects of colony losses in general and CCD specifically in the U.S. are significant, especially considering the increasing demand for pollination (e.g. almonds in California). Consequently, large scale research efforts have begun in the U.S. to determine the underlying cause(s) of colony losses, including CCD, in an attempt to mitigate or slow the rate of losses.

    Colony losses, managed colony population decline, and Colony Collapse Disorder in the United States. James D. Ellis, Jay D. Evans2 and Jeff Pettis

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    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    This does not reflect the real world. The whole theory that parasite do not kill their hosts is absurd. -peterloringborst
    Go back and read what I posted again. I said the most successful parasites do not kill their hosts. Obviously, Varroa can kill Apis mellifera. But the two species have not been interacting for very long. Give them time to adapt to each other, and they will.

    Now, many of these pests have mechanism of dispersal so that if the host is dying, they can get to new hosts. -peterloringborst
    Yes, provided two things: 1) They don't kill their host so quickly that they cannot reproduce and disperse, and, 2) They can find another suitable host.

    If we killed off 99.99 percent of the host, the parasites in that remaining 0.01 percent would have a much more difficult time locating new hosts, especially if they had a very limited amount of time to find a host.

    Now, it is true that many parasites do not kill their host. But to suggest that a balance will always occur when a parasite or virus or any sort of disease infects a host, -- untrue. -peterloringborst
    Right. There is the alternative: extinction. Also an inevitability for all species, but happens faster for some than for others.

    Bear in mind, though, that extinction of the hosts by parasites also means extinction of the parasites.

    Are you concluding that honey bees will be driven to extinction by Varroa?

    Perhaps you have heard of the experiment where varroa was introduced to an off shore California island to rid the island of honey bees? The hosts and the mites ALL died. Resistance did NOT develop, equilibrium did NOT occur. -peterloringborst
    Your example certainly flies in the face of the argument (not necessarily your argument, I realize) that isolation will lead to resistance, doesn't it?

    OK, so then -- what is it? -peterloringborst
    Not sure. Low enough pressure from other factors that the mites don't get out of control, maybe? Like many issues, pathogens and parasites may get to be a problem when other influences stress organisms. Maybe has to do with virulence of the mites (i.e., the mites that happen to be present in my colonies are not vectoring some of the viruses that mites often carry)?

    The beekeeping industry in the United States has faced a number of obstacles to healthy bee management in recent decades. -peterloringborst
    Very true, but quite different than "rampant disease." Humans in the U. S. face a wide array of pathogens, too, but I wouldn't describe it as "rampant disease" at this point.

    Despite the replacement of lost colonies through splitting, there was a net loss (-5.81%) in the total number of honey producing colonies from 2007 to 2008 (calculated from data provided by NASS, 2009), thus suggesting that “splitting” colonies is not sufficient to maintain the sustainability of beekeeping in the U.S.

    This probably has been exacerbated by the introduction of V. destructor into the U.S. Before its introduction, the total number of honey producing colonies in the U.S. decreased on average 0.06% ± 0.5 (mean ± s.e.) per year while the rate of decline increased to 1.5% ± 0.7 afterwards. -peterloringborst
    Sure, but it still seems like this may not be a cause-and-effect relationship. This may be a reflection of beekeepers retiring or otherwise quitting. It may be a reflection of the added burden of managing hives to help manage mite (both types) populations is greater than the benefit to some beekeepers, so they simply quit. The mites may not be directly reducing the number of colonies.

    But based on your argument here, disease is rampant universally in the U. S., meaning that the "isolated" areas suggested for breeding resistant bees is an impossibility in the U. S., right? What do you propose we do, then?

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    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post
    quite different than "rampant disease." Humans in the U. S. face a wide array of pathogens, too, but I wouldn't describe it as "rampant disease" at this point.
    Surely you jest. If the majority of the honey bees in US and Europe have varroa, nosema, and various viruses, and the same majority are routinely treated with miticides, fungicides and antibiotics, is that a healthy bee population?

    You forget, I worked as a bee inspector, and I very seldom if ever saw bees that weren't being treated for varroa, and nosema is in every county of New York State. Not a picture of robust health, shall we say?

    If you don't have problems keeping your bees alive, great! Others do, and that's what I am attempting to address. Can you offer any suggestions for them?

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    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    If the majority of the honey bees in US and Europe have varroa, nosema, and various viruses, and the same majority are routinely treated with miticides, fungicides and antibiotics, is that a healthy bee population? -peterloringborst
    Similar to humans, no? How many humans do you know who don't take medications for this, that, or the next thing? Again, is disease rampant in humans?

    You forget, I worked as a bee inspector, . . . -peterloringborst
    I did not forget. I did not know that, so I could not have forgotten it.

    Based on what you saw, what percentage of the hives died every year?

    How did those numbers compare to the percentage that died every year, say, 40 years ago?

    If you don't have problems keeping your bees alive, great! Others do, and that's what I am attempting to address. -peterloringborst
    Good. Fine. I jumped in because of speculation that isolation leads to more rapid evolution. Not demonstrated by any studies to date.

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    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    deleted
    Last edited by peterloringborst; 02-06-2010 at 11:15 AM. Reason: deleted

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post
    I jumped in because of speculation that isolation leads to more rapid evolution. Not demonstrated by any studies to date.
    I didn't think we where talking evolution I thought more along the line of mutation which I think is somewhat different.

    Do you open mate and raise your own queens and do you know what the beekeepers around you are doing with their bees?

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    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Mutation is the source of variation. All variation begins through mutations. Variation allows evolution to occur. Evolution is change over time.

    In the case of organisms like bees, mutations generally occur at a relatively stead rate. "Mutagens" can cause mutations. Talk to some orchid breeders -- some of them do some unusual things to seeds to increase mutations.

    So, if we start in an isolated setting with a limited number of bees, the chances of having a mutation occur within that population are less than the chances of having a mutation occur in a much larger population, simply due to the numbers involved.

    Let's say that mutations occur once in 100,000 cell divisions. Without going into greater detail and realism on the numbers, if we start with a population of 100 colonies in an isolated setting, we could expect a 1 in 1000 chance of having a mutation occur in a queen in a year in that population. If we have 100,000 colonies, we might expect a 1 in 1 chance of having a mutation in a queen in a year.

    Now, most mutations are not useful, and many are downright detrimental to the survival of the organism. The chances of one of those mutations conferring some sort of resistance to mites is very, very slim.

    If the selective pressure (the mites) is low, the fitness (measured by the number of offspring in future generations, not just offspring in the first generation) is roughly the same for bees that are resistant and bees that are not. Most bees are likely to reproduce successfully.

    But if the selective pressure is greater, the difference in fitness between the two groups becomes much greater. Bees that are not resistant are likely to die before reproducing, and therefore leave fewer successful offspring, than bees that are resistant to some degree. The ones that are left will have more resources available.

    So, the greater the pressure, the faster evolution occurs.

    I have been raising my own queens, and have been using open mating. The beekeepers around me are all migratory, commercial operations. That's the way most of South Dakota is. Every 2.5 miles here in the summers, you're likely to encounter another bee yard, and almost all of them are commercial operations.

  21. #80
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Ithaca, NY USA
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    1,618

    Default Re: Natural Cell Beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post
    Mutation is the source of variation. All variation begins through mutations. Variation allows evolution to occur. Evolution is change over time.
    Evolutionary theory has really changed a bit in the last decade. The definition you use needs a bit of updating.

    > Last year, Eva Jablonka, an epigeneticist at Tel Aviv University in Israel, published a review article in the Quarterly Review of Biology that details more than 100 published cases of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, documented in groups from bacteria and protists to plants and animals.

    > In one recent experiment, two groups of genetically identical Arabidopsis plants were exposed to either hot or cold conditions for two (P and F1) generations. The next generation (F2) from both experimental groups was grown at normal temperatures, but the offspring (F3) from both groups were grown in either hot or cold conditions. The F3 plants that were grown in hot conditions and descended from P and F1 plants also grown in hot conditions produced five times more seeds than did the F3 plants grown in hot conditions but descended from cold-treated ancestors. Because the chance of accumulating mutations within just two generations that led the heat-conditioned plants to thrive in hotter conditions was essentially nil, the authors conclude that inherited epigenetic factors affecting flower production and early-stage seed survival in those plants had to be at play.

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